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Victims group wants Hobart Archbishop's resignation

Hobart Archbishop Adrian Doyle should resign over his handling of sex abuse allegations, according to a victims lobby group says.

The Coalition for Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse said Archbishop Doyle had mishandled abuse allegations levelled at a senior Catholic priest. The Mercury newspaper claims that the Archbishop received a complaint about a priest two years ago but only stood the priest down from active ministry early this year when the complainant threatened legal action.

The allegations were first made in The Mercury on 11 August.

In a brief statement on Friday, Archbishop Doyle said the offer to the complainant to take part in the Church's Towards Healing process to resolve the issue remained open.

A week after the paper aired the allegations, a statement by Archbishop Doyle was read out at all masses in southern Tasmania.

Meanwhile, at its meeting in Launceston at the weekend, the Tasmanian Catholic Schools Parents and Friends Federation backed Archbishop Doyle as a person of honesty and integrity.

Federation president Ian Dalton said the Catholic Church had processes to deal with allegations and they had to be followed. He said that under canon law, it was not possible for a bishop to remove a priest on the basis of an allegation.

"The Archbishop is not God," Mr Dalton said. "He can't step into situations and act on a whim. The due processes must be followed and we place a level of trust in the church to follow those protocols effectively."

The Mercury
The Mercury

Priest on leave after sexual misconduct claims (29/8/03)
Archdiocese of Hobart

32 Sep 2003